Pixel Scroll 2/10/20 Universe Error: Not Enough SF Resources Found. Reboot Universe? Y/N

(1) BUSIEK TALKS ABOUT NEW SERIES, THE MARVELS. “Anyone. Anywhere. Anytime.” That’s how acclaimed writer Kurt Busiek describes his new ongoing series, The Marvels. Busiek said in an interview with Marvel.com

The whole idea of The Marvels is to be able to use the whole Marvel Universe — not just all the characters in it, but all the history of it. The sweeping scope of the whole thing. Big stuff can happen in the Marvel Universe, but we usually see it confined largely to the Avengers in Avengers, to the FF in Fantastic Four, and so on. The Marvels is intended as a freewheeling book that can go anywhere, do anything, use anyone. It’s a smorgasbord of Marvel heroes and history. It’s not a team. It’s a concept, or a universe, depending on how you look at it. The Marvels features the marvels — all the many and varied characters of the Marvel Universe. The heroes, the villains, the oddities — all of it. There’ll be popular characters of today, there’ll be obscure characters from long ago — heck, there’ll be story threads that take place in the past, or possibly the future. We’re not limited to just the present. And there’ll be new characters, too, from the street-level to the cosmic. There are three new marvels in the first issue, although a couple of them are only seen for a panel or so. But we’ll get back to them. I’d say “’the sky’s the limit,’ except in the Marvel Universe, there’s a lot going on beyond that sky. And it’s all open to us.

See the full interview and get a first look at the debut issue at the link The first issue hits the stand in May.


(2) UNCANNY FAVORITE. The winner of the Uncanny Magazine 2019 Favorite Fiction Reader Poll is “Away With the Wolves” by Sarah Gailey!

The rest of the Top Five are:
2- IS A TIE!!!
“The Dead, In Their Uncontrollable Power” by Karen Osborne!
“A Mindreader’s Guide to Surviving Your First Year at the All-Girls Superhero Academy” by Jenn Reese!
3- “A Catalog of Storms” by Fran Wilde!
4- “How the Trick Is Done” by A.C. Wise!
5- “This Is Not My Adventure” by Karlo Yeager Rodríguez!

(3) RUSSIAN AROUND. “A US House candidate says she was hacked — now she’s warning others” — Brianna Wu gave the story to TechCrunch.

“I cannot think of a reason not to share this with the public,” Brianna Wu tweeted.

“Two of my non-campaign Google accounts were compromised by someone in Russia,” she said.

Wu isn’t just any other target. As a Democratic candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in Massachusetts’ 8th District, she has a larger target on her back for hackers than the average constituent. And as a former software engineer, she knows all too well the cybersecurity risks that come along with running for political office.

But the breach of two of her non-campaign Google accounts was still a wake-up call.

Wu said she recently discovered that the two accounts had been breached. One of the accounts was connected to her Nest camera system at home, and the other was her Gmail account she used during the Gamergate controversy, during which Wu was a frequent target of vitriol and death threats. TechCrunch agreed to keep the details of the breach off the record as to not give any potential attackers an advantage. Attribution in cyberattacks, however, can be notoriously difficult because hackers can mask their tracks using proxies and other anonymity tools.

“I don’t believe anyone in Russia is targeting me specifically. I think it’s more likely they target everyone running for office,” she tweeted….

(4) RETRO DRAMA. Mark Leeper is writing a three-part overview of all (he hopes) feature-length dramatic presentations eligible for the Retro Hugo. The installments will be available in the February 7, February 14, and February 21 issues of MT VOID. The first is here if you want to check it out.

The full article will be published on Mark’s web page (http://leepers.us) after the last one runs.

And the Leepers are asking for help to find a copy of Ghost Catchers (a.k.a. High Spirits) even if it’s not one of the main contenders.

(5) DOES WHATEVER A SPIDER CAN. The Disney Parks Blog watches as “Spider-Man Swings into Action Above Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure Park”.

Guests visiting Disney California Adventure park prior to the opening of the Avengers Campus this summer can still encounter Spider-Man daily in Hollywood Land between his visits to Avengers Campus. As previously announced, Spider-Man can be seen in his exclusive, new suit designed by Ryan Meinerding, Head of Visual Development at Marvel Studios.

When Avengers Campus opens this summer, guests will be recruited to become the next generation of Super Heroes. The campus will be home to a variety of new experiences giving guests the chance to feel the power, adventure and exhilaration of teaming up with some of their favorite Super Heroes including:

  • The Worldwide Engineering Brigade – also known as “WEB” – which will house the new Spider-Man attraction where guests can sling webs alongside Spider-Man himself.
  • Pym Test Kitchen, an all-new eatery, where Pym Technologies Researchers are using Ant-Man and the Wasp’s growing and shrinking technology to create super-sized and super small foods.
  • Heroic encounters throughout the campus where guests can team up with some of their favorite Super Heroes including Spider-Man, Black Widow, Doctor Strange, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Black Panther and the Dora Milaje, Thor and Loki, Iron Man and for the first time, Ant-Man and The Wasp.
  • Avengers Headquarters where guests may witness Earth’s Mightiest Heroes springing into action at a moment’s notice all over the building.

(6) DAYS BEFORE OUR LIVES. Screenwriting award at Sundance goes to genre film Nine Days.

Keep an eye out for this one. Here’s the plot description from IMDb:

A reclusive man conducts a series of interviews with human souls for a chance to be born.

(7) SON WITH A SWORD. “Mandy Patinkin on ‘The Princess Bride’” – video at Yahoo!

One of actor Mandy Patinkin’s most popular roles was the 1987 fantasy, “The Princess Bride,” in which he played a man bent on revenge (“Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die”). In this web exclusive he talked with correspondent Holly Williams about the legacy of his character.


  • February 10, 1957 Attack of the Crab Monsters premiered. It was produced and directed by Roger Corman, and it starred Richard Garland, Pamela Duncan, and Russell Johnson, the latter much better know for his Gillgan’s Island role. It was written by Charles B. Griffith who would later write The Little Shop of Horrors. It was profitable, the best showing by a Corman film to that date, earned the respect of critics for the way it was produced and scripted but currently has a lousy 30% rating among the 1.625 reviewers who gave an opinion at Rotten Tomatoes. Should you be inclined, you can watch it here.
  • February 10, 1957 Not Of This Earth premiered. It shared a double bill with Attack of the Crab Monsters. It like the other film was produced and directed by Roger Corman,  It stars Paul Birch, Beverly Garland, Morgan Jones, William Roerick, and Anna Lee Carroll. The film was written by Charles B. Griffith and Mark Hanna. Critics liked even better than its Attack of the Crab Monsters with one saying that it was “Corman’s most enjoyable science fiction film”.  Notes for this film note that the double bill made back four times what it cost to produce both films in the first week. So how does it currently rate at Rotten Tomatoes? Even worse than Attack of the Crab Monsters as it garners a pitiful 21% rating there from the roughly 400 reviewers. Like Attack of the Crab Monsters, it’s only roughly only an hour long and you can watch it here.


[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born February 10, 1906 Lon Chaney Jr. I certainly best remember him playing Larry Talbot in The Wolf Man but he has a lot of other roles as well: The Ghost of Frankenstein as The Monster (look, correct billing!), The Mummy’s Tomb as The Mummy Kharis or Son of Dracula as Count Dracula, he played all the great monsters, often multiple times. (Died 1973.)
  • Born February 10, 1910 Douglas Spencer. His most memorable role As an actor was as The Monitor on This Island Earth. As far I can call tell, he only had two other genre roles, one  as the First Martian in the “Mr. Dingle, the Strong” episode of Twilight Zone, two other as Ned Scott on The Thing from Another World, a Fifties horror film. (Died 1960.)
  • Born February 10, 1926 Hazel Court. She did The Devil Girl from Mars which has been noted previously in File 770,  The Curse of Frankenstein, a Hammer Film, and Doctor Blood’s Coffin. She did five different roles on Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and had one-offs on The Invisible Man, Danger Man, (at genre adjacent, isn’t it?), Thriller, Twilight Zone and Mission: Impossible. Her final role, uncredited, was in Omen III: The Final Conflict. (Died 2008.)
  • Born February 10, 1930 Robert Wagner, 90. He played the lead in the early Fifties Prince Valiant based off the Hal Foster strip. Next up is being George Lytton in The Pink Panther followed by the same in Curse of the Pink Panther. He’s Number Two in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, and the same in Austin Powers in Goldmember. He shows up as President James Garfield in Netherbeast Incorporated, a film that rated better at Rotten Tomatoes than I expected. His latest role is as Charles Benning in What Happened to Monday
  • Born February 10, 1958 Rupert Vansittart, 62. He was portrayed General Asquith in the two Ninth Doctor stories, “Aliens of London” and “World War Three”. He was Wyatt in The Saint: The Brazilian Connection, and Brian Babbacombe on Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased). Lastly, he had he recurring role on Game of Thrones as Yohn Royce. 
  • Born February 10, 1970 Robert Shearman, 50. He wrote the episode of Who called “Dalek” which was nominated for the Hugo for Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form in 2006 at L.A. Con IV. (There were three Who entries that year and “The Empty Child”/”The Doctor Dances” won.) His first book, a collection of short stories called Tiny Deaths was a World Fantasy Award winner. He’s written a lot of short fiction since then, collected helpfully into two collections, displayed. Remember Why You Fear Me: The Best Dark Fiction of Robert Shearman and They Do the Same Things Different There: The Best Weird Fantasy of Robert Shearman.
  • Born February 10, 1976 Keeley Hawes 44. Ms Delphox/Madame Karabraxos In the most excellent Twelfth Doctor story “Time Heist”.  It wasn’t her first genre role as that would’ve been Tamara in that awful Avengers film. She also played Zoe Reynolds which is at least genre adjacent given where the story went. 
  • Born February 10, 1988 Jade and Nakita Ramsey, 32. Their longest running role was on The House of Anubis series with Jade as Patricia Williamson who in it for the entire run of one hundred and forty five episodes with  Nakita showing up for just six episodes. They’d later both be on A Haunting at Silver Falls: The Return playing Heather and Holly Dahl. They play twins frequently, even appearing once in a film with Cassandra Peterson, All About Evil.


  • Have a lot of books? Frazz has a question about that.

(11) KEEP PREYING. “Box Office Analyst Explains Why Birds of Prey Disappointed in its Opening Weekend” at Comicbook.com.

Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) opened over the weekend to $33 million, marking the lowest opening for any film set in the DC Extended Universe and the lowest start for any DC film since Jonah Hex in 2010. According to Exhibitor Relations box office analyst Jeff Bock, the R-rated Birds of Prey is a “niche comic book movie” whose failings began with its title: not naming the Cathy Yan-directed film Harley Quinn after its starring character (portrayed by returning Suicide Squad star Margot Robbie) was a “huge misfire” for Warner Bros., who months earlier scored a billion-plus box office with the R-rated Joker.

(12) VALUABLE WILD CARD. Joker has gained acclaim, but also an equal amount of skepticism. YouTuber CinemaWins looks into the aspects of the film done well in his easily digestible format. (Spoilers)

Joker! Another one of those movies where everyone agrees and I can’t even imagine a single person getting upset! Here’s everything right with Joker!

Part I

Part II

(13) NO LONGER ON THE FORCE. Maltin on Movies interviews Peter Weller.

Actor, musician, director, renaissance man: Peter Weller is all of these, but he’s best remembered as the star of RoboCop. He’s also a fascinating conversationalist, as Leonard and Jessie were delighted to learn, with stories about such luminaries as Mike Nichols and Otto Preminger.

(14) TRAILER TIME. The full trailer for Minions: The Rise of Gru dropped.

(15) VIDEO OF THE DAY. Another cheap umbella.


[Thanks to Cat Eldridge, Chip Hitchcock, N., John King Tarpinian, JJ, Evelyn Leeper, Martin Morse Wooster, Mike Kennedy, Mlex, Michael Toman, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Andrew.]

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33 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 2/10/20 Universe Error: Not Enough SF Resources Found. Reboot Universe? Y/N

  1. Thank you for the title credit.

    (13) Peter Weller will always be Dr. Buckaroo Banzai, physicist/surgeon/lead singer of the Hong Kong Cavaliers/adventurer, to me.

  2. (9) It was Douglas Spencer’s Ned Scott character in The Day the Earth Stood Still who has perhaps the greatest, most iconic line in the history of science fiction genre movies. Let’s all repeat it together:

    “Keep watching the skies!”

  3. And yes, my bad. It was from The Thing from Another Planet. One of my favorite genre movies of all time. (Can’t believe I really did that.)

  4. Andrew: (13) Peter Weller will always be Dr. Buckaroo Banzai, physicist/surgeon/lead singer of the Hong Kong Cavaliers/adventurer, to me.

    Now that you remind me, that’s spot on!

  5. 4) That’s a nice article, which will go into the next link round-up at Retro Science Fiction Reviews.

    Meanwhile, the dramatic presentation categories at the 1945 Retro Hugo Recommendation spreadsheet are filling up nicely. Though we didn’t have The Great Alaskan Mystery, which I promptly remedied.

    Contributions to the spreadsheet are always appreciated: bit.ly/RetroHugo1945

    8) Keeley Hawes’ most notable genre role was as time-displaced detective Alex Drake in the BBC time travel (and nsgreyvsr) series Ashes to Ashes, which was a sequel to Life on Mars, wherein Hawes did not appear.

    Both Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes were great, part of the wave of excellent British SFF TV between approx. 2005 and 2010. I’m surprised that those two shows and other British SFF shows from the same period not named Doctor Who are largely forgotten some ten years later.

  6. @8 typo: Wikipedia and IMDB both say it’s The Little Shop of Horrors. Silly me — I’m so used to the musical that I thought there was no article at all…

    @10: it’s possible that before I started downsizing I owned more than I’ve checked out in my lifetime; it was a lot cheaper to own books when Glen Cook was dealing (e.g., 6 shelf-feet for under $100 from the 1986 Worldcon).

    @14: maybe….

  7. 9) Keeley Hawes also starred in the 2015 film adaptation of J.G. Ballard’s High-Rise, which is either genre, genre-adjacent, or genre-adjacent-adjacent.

    I didn’t realize she was in Ashes to Ashes, which I own but haven’t yet watched.

    She also starred in a TV adaptation of The Casual Vacancy, based on a novel by an author who had at least a few genre titles in her catalog.

  8. (11) I–who have mostly given up on comic book films as annoyingly bland and same-same–saw Birds of Prey on a whim because my BFF was going, and I loved it and may go again. I mean, it still has all the tediously endless fight scenes that drove me away from the genre, but the characters and interactions that happen between the fight scenes are great enough that I wasn’t at all sorry to have been enticed in.

    Beware the misogynistic hype machine that will try to convince you that Birds of Prey is a flop simply because it doesn’t choose to pander to the male gaze.

  9. Glen Cook is still dealing at cons, at least as of last October (ICON in Cedar Rapids).

  10. @Heather Rose Jones

    Thanks for that review – I was wondering, and now I’ll make an effort to see it.

  11. (3) Good for Wu discovering things. Sadly, the way things are framed in popular perception, it might instead be thought of that as Wu doesn’t know crap about Internet security, since it is known she got hacked.

    (11) That article is mainly a regurgitated version of some basic background info and quotes from Variety.

    But the film is good. Angry, violent, girls ganging together to fight toxic masculinity fun.

  12. (11) I think some of the problem might be the close link in characters and visual style to Suicide Squad — which was a financially successful film, but one that burnt enough goodwill that its upcoming sequel is being sold as a reboot.

  13. Inspired by (9) Lon Cheney’s birthday and with apologies to Warren Zevon:

    I saw a file drinking a pixel colada at Trader Vic’s. Its scroll was perfect.

  14. (11) Entertaining flic. Funny AND violent which is a tough combo but it worked here. Margot Robbie gives a solid performance as does Ewan McGregor. I can see how it slipped through the cracks though – it’s neither a stereotypical guy nor girl movie. Now, that still leaves a sizable audience but not sizable enough for a blockbuster opening. Or we could just be burning out in comic book movies.

  15. Karl-Johan Norén — (11) That article is mainly a regurgitated version of some basic background info and quotes from Variety

    Well excuuuuuse me!

  16. (15) VIDEO OF THE DAY. Another cheap umbella.

    After watching that, I’ll never use an umbella again. Yeeeeeeeesh.

  17. The role I most associate Hazel Court with is Julianna in the 1964 movie version of Masque of the Red Death starring Vincent Price.

    I haven’t seen Birds of Prey yet, but it’s playing at the Uptown, so I might take in a 10pm show, since the theater is walking distance from where I live. I’ve been on the fence about going because while the trailers make it look fun, what I want from a Birds of Prey movie is something closely adapted from the comic book iteration that had Oracle, Black Canary and Huntress. Since the movie is Harley Quinn and some other people we can’t even bother to mention in the trailers, I suspect it is not really the movie for me. Which is not to say it isn’t a fun movie, just that it isn’t the movie i wanted. Which makes it more likely to go in the category of “wait for the dvd and check it out of the library.”

  18. @Michael J. Lowrey: Ok, make that “it was a lot cheaper to own books when Glen Cook was dealing more than a short way from home.” Frail memory says he wasn’t even at the San Antonio (2013) Worldcon (although my brain, turned into baked alaska by the weather inside and outside the convention center, couldn’t swear to that); it’s been a long time since he was at Readercon or Boskone.

  19. re @11: a reliable local reviewer wasn’t commenting on lack of male-gazeness when he said that all the director does is prove she can make an action flick as dumb as a male director would — “right down to the last brutal, meat-headed, narratively deficient detail.” YMMV….

  20. Lon Chaney Jr. is also a character in some of Kim Newman’s stories. In one story, he interacts with Charles Manson (plus some of the family) and eventual media mogul Derek Leech. Leech pleases him by knowing that his first name is really Creighton.

    “Doomed is your scroll and damned is your file.”

  21. Cathy on February 11, 2020 at 10:40 am said:

    what I want from a Birds of Prey movie is something closely adapted from the comic book iteration that had Oracle, Black Canary and Huntress.

    The Gail Simone run? Yeah, that was brilliant. And was definitely what I was hoping for as well. No offense to Oor Kurt, who is among my favorite comic writers, but Simone is, IMO, a cut above almost everyone else.

    That said, I doubt the movie’s poor showing had a single factor. It was more likely a bunch of things. The potential association with Suicide Squad via a shared character, the fact that many people are probably unfamiliar with the Birds of Prey, the fact that some probably remember the rather cheesy 2002 TV show, the fact that it may have looked like a blatant attempt to capitalize on the success of The Joker, and, yes, a bit of comic-book movie burnout may have all been factors.

    That said, most of the people I know who have seen it and whose opinions I trust have said they liked it, so I definitely plan to see it. Maybe word-of-mouth will give it some legs….

  22. Oor Wombat’s latest has dropped. It’s a roller coaster of Feels, and worth the price of admission.

  23. Keeley Hawes… aha! (he typed, after checking IMDB) — Mrs Durrells, in the recent THE DURRELLS IN CORFU (which we gave up watching early in the final season or a few episodes before)… and double-aha! Dr Julia Ogden in the MURDOCH MYSTERIES series, which we began only a few months ago, and so are only somewhere in Season 3 or 4. Hadn’t recognized her!
    And this gives me a chance to recommend MURDOCH… it’s (via IMDB) “Set in Toronto at the dawn of the 20th century, Murdoch Mysteries is a one-hour drama series that explores the intriguing world of William Murdoch (Yannick Bisson), a methodical and dashing detective who pioneers innovative forensic techniques to solve some of the city’s most gruesome murders.”
    Episode 1 stars Tesla (during the AC/DC power wars). Other historical notables (so far to us) include Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, H.G. Wells, and Harry Houdini; and the episode titles looks like an sf/movie fan’s noodling, e.g. “I, Murdoch” “The Murdoch Identity” “Murdoch.com”… available, among other places, via the Acorn (streaming) channel (which has lots of British Commonwealth series)

  24. Kurt’s latest series sounds a bit like Astro City but in the Marvel Universe. I’ve been wondering what Kurt’s been up to: it’s been quite a while since he had anything in my friendly local comic shop.

    I do slightly wish this had been in yesterday’s Scroll: I went to my shop today and I could have added it to my pull. Oh, well.

    (I thought we were supposed to get an Astro City OGN last year, but it never showed up.)

  25. Amending my Keely Hawes comment above — I was both wrong and right (or versa visa): Hawes did play Dr. Julia Ogden in several MURDOCH MYSTERIES — but not the 13-season series we’re currently watching (via ACORN) starring Yannick Bisson as Detective Murdoch; there, Dr. Julia Ogden is played by Helene Joy. (These were scroll-ized a year or so ago.) Hawes was Dr. O in a later, shorter-run series, with the good detective likewise played by somebody else. I’m sure we will get around to these at some point, although at the rate we are Murdoching, probably not until at least August.

    (1) The Busiek/Marvel item lets me give a shout-out to at least one of these even before reading (and savoring them): the one written by my friend Alan Brennert (who I know from Clarion, way way way back when). When he told me about it, some months back, he was way way way excited.

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